Polish Cherry Nalewka Recipe (Wisniak)

Bowl of red Cherries

Francesco Carta fotografo / Moment / Getty Images

  • Total: 20 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Yield: About 1 quart (21 servings)
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
92 Calories
0g Fat
11g Carbs
0g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: About 1 quart (21 servings)
Amount per serving
Calories 92
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 1mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 11g 4%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Protein 0g
Calcium 2mg 0%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

A Polish nalewka is an aged cordial. The most common types are made with fruit and either vodka or rectified spirits. This recipe for cherry nalewka or wiśniak is traditionally made with Morello cherries, a sour type of cherry. If Morello cherries aren't available in your area, you can certainly use sour pie cherries. Nalewki make excellent edible gifts, so plan accordingly when making them for Christmas.


  • 1/2 pound sour cherries (washed, stemmed, and pitted)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cups  rectified spirits (or good-quality vodka like chopin vodka)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Place cherries in a 1 quart (1 liter) jar. Pour sugar over cherries (do not stir or shake).

  3. Slowly pour the spirits or vodka over the cherries until the jar is full (leave a slight gap at the top). Make sure cherries are covered but do not stir or shake.

  4. Tightly close the jar and place in a pantry or closet for 3 months at room temperature.

  5. After 3 months, strain the ​nalewka and rebottle.


  • It may be drunk immediately or aged further. Don't throw away the fruit. It is delicious on ice cream, pound cake, or other desserts.​